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Business|Copper|Mining
Business|Copper|Mining
business|copper|mining

BHP set to avert mine strike in Chile with preliminary wage deal

12th June 2024

By: Bloomberg

  

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BHP reached a preliminary wage agreement with union leaders in Chile, signaling the company will avert a costly strike at a copper mine that accounts for about 1% of global supply of the wiring metal.

More than 1 100 members of the main union at BHP’s Spence mine in northern Chile will vote on the new offer, the Melbourne-based company said in a statement early Wednesday. The breakthrough came on the fifth and final day of talks mediated by labor department officials, with both sides agreeing to a an extension in order to hold the vote.

Averting a strike at Spence, which last year churned out about 250,000 metric tons, would ease tensions in a busy schedule of collective bargaining processes in the Chilean copper mining industry. While high prices embolden workers, firms are looking to avoid costly stoppages without excessive increases in fixed costs in what’s a cyclical and capital-intensive business.

An accord at Spence would also ease concerns over upcoming labor talks at BHP’s other Chilean operation, Escondida, which is more than four times the size of Spence and has been the scene of lengthy strikes in the past.

Edited by Bloomberg

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